Specializations are just another word for perks. Previous Battlefield games had them, and Battlefield 1 will soon join the club. News of specializations heading to Battlefield 1 comes from a recent video by YouTuber Flakfire. In it, DICE LA’s Andrew Gulotta briefly touches on the new feature coming to Battlefield 1 and how it will let players tailor classes to their playstyle. Gulotta’s comments start at 0:47.
A DICE developer jumped on the Battlefield 1 CTE Reddit yesterday to ease concerns about the types of abilities the specializations will add.
“We won’t have any abilities that are just “10% less damage” or “10% more damage or anything like that. All of the weapon balance is finely tuned around hits to kill, modifying that breaks things. That’s why the 15% damage modifier in bayonet charge was removed.”
As I said, Specializations aren’t new to Battlefield. Battlefield 3 and 4 both had them. And the community’s concerns about specializations changing the way the game plays are valid.
Here’s an example of how the defensive specialization worked in Battlefield 4 (note: these specializations were gained over the course of one match. We don’t know how it’s going to work yet in Battlefield 1).
Level 1: Armor – reduces incoming damage to the chest by 10%
Level 2: Cover – decreases amount of incoming suppression by 50%
Level 3: Flak – decreases damage from explosions by 15%
Level 4: Quick Regen – decreases time before out of combat heal by 20%
DICE says they want to avoid anything that would change the basic weapon balance. If five shots kill before this feature is implemented, it will be the same after.
I would prefer the devs not even add this feature, but it’s a good middle ground. Weapon balance needs to preserved. A slight decrease in weapon damage received could cause some guns to need an extra hit to kill.
It does make me wonder what kind of specializations they will go for. Maybe faster sprint for Assault or holding your breath longer with the Scout class. Whatever you do DICE, please don’t add extra grenades.
The good news is, DICE will toss this feature on the CTE server long before it reaches the regular game. Battlefield 1 fans can give their opinions on what doesn’t work, and the devs can adjust as needed.
I get DICE is always looking for ways to keep the community engaged, but the gameplay and new maps are enough for me. Specializations just aren’t necessary. Finding the middle ground between making players care about specializations while also not changing the gameplay balance is going to be tough.
DICE will be on hand at Gamescom in August to talk more about specializations. The next big expansion for Battlefield 1, In the Name of the Tsar, is coming in September.